I’m so amazed at how few people follow up after a networking event. Counting it up, I attended 23 networking events in May and June. In that time I received ONE email after the meeting. That isn’t before or after my notes – that’s period.
I try very hard to send a note to every person I meet at a networking event. If nothing else, it gets my contact information into their Outlook. It also allows me to show I’m serious about connecting, share some additional information about me and my business, and address specific issues I wrote on the back of their business card.
So here’s the thing – when I see people the second time, they generally remember me. Many, many people say “I got your email” or “thanks for your note” which means we don’t start from square one again. The other day I was with someone at a networking event and we ran into someone I had met a couple weeks before. He thanked me for my email and we picked up our conversation where we left off the last time. I went to introduce my friend and she was quick to point out they had met before. And then it got really awkward because it was clear he didn’t remember her. At all. Barely remembered the event they had attended. Now I’m not saying an email would have completely solved that problem, but it sure would have helped!
So here’s my request – just try it. Go to an event and email those people you meet with a note specifically addressing something you discussed (which means you have to take notes!). See if it doesn’t net you more responses, more follow ups and more conversations at the next event. Believe me, it is memorable! My second request, which isn’t as important but still – if you get a follow up note from someone, for heaven’s sake respond! You went to that event to make connections and here is someone willing to connect. You probably don’t know yet who they are married to, who their neighbors are, or who their best friend is. So writing them off as a potential client or referral source isn’t possible yet. WRITE BACK. It is much more professional than saying something the next time you see them. I’ve never asked anyone why they didn’t respond, but I’m getting close…..